Musical Ride back in the saddle

The RCMP’s Musical Ride will perform in Red Deer as planned on Aug. 1 at the Centrium, in support of Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter.

The RCMP’s Musical Ride will perform in Red Deer as planned on Aug. 1 at the Centrium, in support of Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter.

An equine upper-respiratory infection forced the RCMP to cancel tour dates between July 2 and 20, including the Calgary Stampede.

Tara Heppell, the shelter’s fundraising co-ordinator, said the Musical Ride has the potential to raise $30,000 for the shelter’s 24-hour crisis line and domestic violence programs.

“I really need to get out to the public that it’s still on. We need the community to be behind it,” said Heppell on Tuesday about low ticket sales.

It’s been 14 years since the Musical Ride was in Red Deer, when officers performed at Westerner Days.

On Aug. 1, the two-hour event kicks off at 2:30 p.m. with a demonstration by the national RCMP Dog Training Centre, followed by the Musical Ride with 32 horses and riders performing cavalry drills to choreographed music.

The Musical Ride, developed in 1876 by early members of the North-West Mounted Police to display their riding ability, entertains thousands each year.

Riders must be active police officers for at least two years before volunteering for Musical Ride duty. Most have no prior riding experience.

Tickets are $12 per adult and $8 for children two to 12. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the door. Additional Ticketmaster fees apply either way.

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